My £300 32Amp Charging Station Install

In recent days I have received letters and offers of FREE charging station installations quoting prices that would normally be £1,313 (Polar March 2013); And this is just for a 16A charging station, if I want the 32 amp version I have to cough up another £75. Plus these ‘free’ charging stations require 3G data signals and data logging my charging to be shared with who knows who.

So a few weeks ago a forum member advertised their used 32A Rolec Unit (Retails for just over £400 new) and I snapped it up. This is the story of my installation and internal pictures of why these charging stations should NEVER cost anything like £1,000. Mine was bought and installed for less than £300.

First up the Rolec unit itself with the lid off:

IMG_4971

 

It’s a fairly basic unit with a Siemens control module and the 32A contactor to the right of it. At the top of the case is the fuse and that’s it – 3 components. In later vesions of this unit you will find the Zero Carbon World unit inside this Rolec Charging Station.

Off to the garage….

IMG_4976

 

This had been our ‘charging station’ for the first 6 months of Nissan LEAF driving. A £17 Screwfix double socket. We plugged in each night and next day a full battery ready for the off. It NEVER failed, worked in all weathers and requires no contract with anyone. Just £40 for the sparky to connect each end (I ran the cable along the inside garage wall – it’s just a cable, some clips and hammer). A standard outside socket is a perfectly safe and acceptable solution to charge your Nissan LEAF at 10 Amps, just make sure a sparky checks your wiring. This cost us £60 to buy, and install including the socket, 10 meters of cable, the breaker and the sparky.

Back to the charging station install: As all the connections and meter where the other side of the wall I decided to mount the Rolec 32A charger just beneath this double socket. First up was the decision on where to enter the cable into the charger. I decided on a entry point on the back plate of the unit so simply drilled a hold just beneath the metal cable support bracket. This was just a pilot hole then a hole saw from any standard drill set:

 

IMG_4977

The hole to the right was my first attempt that then was covered when I re-attached the cable support bracket.

Next up drilling the hole through the garage wall. You either need a good hammer drill with a long masonary bit – I used my father-in-laws SDS drill with a huge long bit on the end; I then slid this through the entry point on the charging station:

IMG_4979

 

I then also drilled 2 drain holes in the base of the charging station case to allow any moisture or condensation a route to drain out:

IMG_4980

 

I then TEMPORARILY wired the unit in to test it before my sparky came and made the FINAL connection. Please re-read that – you need to get a qualified electrician to make the proper connection (I did not have the earth cable sheathed for instance):

IMG_4981

 

The point is that this simple kit is out there and getting cheaper. You should be able to buy and install such a station for between £400 – £500. No contracts and it’s all 100% yours. The fact that some companies are building in 3G data modules and asking you to sign contracts and claim the cost would be over £1,300 is, frankly, astounding.

KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid.

IMG_4982

 

Overall this unit works great and charging at 16 Amps versus 10 Amps does make a difference. The unit is plastic and does flex a little; especially with such a substantial cable and plug attached; but this is a small issue for the usability this offers versus taking the EVSe cable out the boot twice a day.

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About grantthomas

17 years at IBM as a Strategy Leader, keen blogger and presenter on Sustainability and Renewable Energy - when I am not doing that I am cruising or blogging about the cruise industry.

Posted on June 23, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Where did you buy the Rolec unit pleas

  2. Looks to me like you have supplied a 32a unit with a 2.5mm cable. Thats a no no! Hope the ‘electrician’ down rated it at the main consumer unit

  3. 4mm t+e cable is also fine clipped direct, looks like the spark missed the earth sleeve!

    I am rolec/niceic trained in ev charging stations i provide free quotes to anybody in the south east if they require a ev charging station at home or work.

    you can contact me on

    acelectrical85@gmail.com

  4. I got my Rolec 32amp professionally installed under the OLEV scheme for £195 all in. Its the same as yours except it also has a combined meter which is useful to know how much electricity is being used to charge, and it also has a warranty.

    6mm is probably ok to about 25M so long as it is not covered over with any insulation and it is on its own 32amp breaker at the consumer unit.

    • I live in Liverpool, do you have contact details of your installer?

      • The Phoenix Works, Leeds – cover nationwide

      • Peter Spencer

        ChargedEV: Hybrid Energy Solutions Ltd
        Unit 1B Silver House
        Adelphi Way
        Staveley
        Chesterfield
        S43 3LJ

        08000 724 764

        Since my install the grant has been reduced and currently they are doing a 32 amp install for £330 inc vat.

  5. 3 years on this charging station is still used on a daily basis. Inside the garage is a kWh meter and a 10 meter 6mm 3core cable run clipped to a brick wall to the fuse box. Last summer this was moved to an oak post when the driveway was done and now charges the Outlander. It was replaced with a 32A Rolec Type 2 Socket, installed when the OLEV scheme was free so we now have a pair of 7kw chargers and portable EVSE.

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